Nobody panic, but astronomers just found a 'super massive' black hole

Evan Bartlett@ev_bartlett
Thursday 18 September 2014 19:10
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Artist's impression

Astronomers have just discovered a super massive black hole - the largest type - at the centre of the M60-UCD1 galaxy.

It was found at the heart of the compact dwarf galaxy - about 1/500th the diameter of the Milky Way - 50 million light years from Earth. The black hole is thought to weigh as much as 21 million times the mass of our own sun, according to AFP.

Researchers from the University of Utah hope the discovery, could prove a theory that these small galaxies may have black holes at their centre owing to their density.

This finding suggests that dwarf galaxies may actually be the stripped remnants of larger galaxies that were torn apart during collisions with other galaxies, rather than small islands of stars born in isolation.

We don’t know of any other way you could make a black hole so big in an object this small.

  • Lead researcher Anil Seth

The research team discovered the 'light-sucking object' after studying stills taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and Gemini North telescope.

You can read more about the discovery in a press release from Hubble here.

More: Everything looks better from space

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